Monday, May 6, 2013

Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday: Cameron's (Princess) Mermaid Third Birthday Party

So, no one can really remember the origin of my mermaid obsession. It may have started with a Dora mermaid episode way back when, but I (thankfully) stopped watching Dora almost a year ago. Peter Pan has mermaids, but I think they're kind of scary. And I've never seen The Little Mermaid. But I have been going strong on mermaids for some time now. And it totally suits my personality. A good college friend of mommy's sent her a quote from an Anais Nin novel with me in mind: "I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living." That pretty much sums up my approach to life -- I'm a laughing, leaping party girl and so it was only fitting that I have a mermaid party of epic proportions.

The "princess" part was a late addition. It was only after mom had designed the first mermaid invitation, which I promptly told her was not "purple enough," that I also decided I wanted it to be a princess mermaid party. With a stack of boxes full of mermaid party supplies, mom gave me a qualified go on the princess front. We'd add princesses, but sparingly. So she set out to design a new invitation featuring a crown-adorned mermaid and we added sparkly crowns to the party. Done.

In addition to styling the party, mom designed all the paper goods for the party this time. And I loved them so much I told her she should put those puppies up for sale -- you know, so that she can support our organic squeezy yogurts habit again. So she did. You can purchase pretty much anything you see at the party in mom's new Etsy Shop: Capitol Confetti. If you don't see it there, she can still make it for you, so just email her. Don't email me, I'm currently accepting paid appearance correspondence only. We love coming up with party ideas, so if you need help in that department, we're happy to pitch in, too!

This post wouldn't be complete without a GINORMOUS shout-out to all my family members and mommy's friends who helped get this shindig going. Daddy, Nona, Grandpa D-Rock, Uncle Steve, Aunt Veronica, Aunt Eileen, Grammie and Grandpa B and even Kane made this thing happen. Especially after mommy spent (no lie) almost 11 hours hand ruffling streamers -- clearly she made some misstep there, but they turned out awesome. And a big thanks to Ms. Beth for sewing those suckers in the first place. They are not for sale in the Etsy store because they would cost $8 million. Ms. Liz and Ms. Jenn, I anxiously await your cake bakery reality show. Georgetown Cupcakes has nothin on you two.

SO, without further adieu, it's time to party, people.

Mom designed a heavily-purpled invitation and outlined the mermaid scale pattern in a sparkly gold color. By the time mom went through round two of my invitation, she didn't have time to design additional patterned papers, so fortunately modBee Design came through and matched a set of papers to the invitation for her. One of the graphic prints appeared on the back of the invitation (others were on the banners and other party paper goods). Because I am a lover of all things sparkly, mom lined the envelopes with some serious gold glitter paper and each envelope got matching labels.

Because our house is a few flights up, mom made a "Come On Up!" sign and wreath to hang on the front door, which was super sparkly and meant mom didn't have to climb the stairs a thousand times to let people in. That cute seahorse was also a craft available at the party -- sometimes Oriental Trading Company really comes through.

For the main food table, mom made a tulle mermaid scale backdrop topped with a GLITTERING number 3. The phenomenally time-consuming ruffled streamers (we think we've figured out the error in mom's approach, but not sure mom will ever get over the experience to try again) framed that up. And it wouldn't be a party without gold lanterns. Mom made the banner using the patterned papers and hung it on gold cord. 

I had three requests for the party food: sushi, edamame and goldfish. See, I am a mermaid. So we had mixed raw sushi and veggie sushi, edamame, melon balls, chicken skewers, shell pasta salad, mini crab cakes, goldfish in gold popcorn boxes, veggies/pita with hummus (also a big fan of hummus), and fishbowl jello. The sushi and chicken were from Whole Foods. Everything else our family members made, including Grandpa B who surgically inserted swedish fish into blue jello and taped a mermaid tail stamped bamboo spoon on with gold washi tape. Yeah, there were a lot of "what did you just say?" and "you want me to do what?" looks when mom was directing the fam Friday night and Saturday morning. But there were all champs (even Uncle Steve and Daddy who spent the better part of 45 minutes stringing up crowns along our railing. although I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact that they also consumed almost all the beer for the party, the night before the party. that's what dad gets for smartly asking mom "what am I going to do between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight the night before the party since someone else is making the cake?" see the cake pop disasters of party past here and here). 

OMG, the cake. Can you believe this cake!? One of mommy and daddy's good friends and her friend MADE it for me. Unreal. Purple ombre mermaid scales, gold coral, and a sparkly gold number 3 right on top! And so incredibly delicious -- three words for you: italian meringue buttercream. There was only one piece left at the end of the party. Thank you so much, Ms. Liz and Ms. Jenn. 

And as if that wasn't enough sweet on its own, mom also included a little candy bar of salt water taffy, mermaid crystals (rock candy), retro bubble saucer candy, and purple cotton candy. Despite asking for sushi, I'm pretty sure all I ate at my party was sugar. 

Not to be outdone by the sweets (although, I mean, everything was really outdone by that cake), mom set up a bar full of fun. Along with tubs of the usuals (beer, sparkling water, apple juice and milk), there was regular lemonade for the kiddos, which you could add to purple cotton candy -- it turned purple! (thanks for the idea, Sweet Paul!) And a bright blue lagoon punch (based off of this recipe) for the adult mermaids and mermen in raspberry and lemon wedged cups topped off with a cocktail mermaid. The kiddos so loved the little mermaids that they were stealing them for lemonade, too.

For party fun, Kane and I made 40 crowns (with Oriental Trading Company supplies -- paper crowns and jewels) for everyone to wear. We hung those up near the entrance for partygoers to grab. Mom also set out a few crafts: a seahorse craft kit (mom bought them from OTC, but repackaged them to look cute and partially assembled them to make it easier for kids to do) and mermaid sticker scenes. There was a lot going on at the party, so we're not sure how many people actually sat and made a seahorse, but we sent a bunch home in good bags, too. The seahorses turned out really cute (see the welcome sign above) and we hung a bunch up around the party as decoration as well.

Mom also made a "Cam's Mermaid Mix" spotify play list full of my favorites (KE$HA!) and beachy mermaid tunes, but forgot to put it on until halfway into the party! It figures, since we spent the last month or so requesting it every time we got into the car. Mom had no idea how sick she'd get of Train's mermaid song. 

Kane and I were also instrumental in coming up with and putting together the goody bags. Mom made "grow your own mermaid aquariums," which included a purple mermaid, tiny real starfish, a few waterbeads and faux seaweed (thanks to Uncle Steve for final assembly of those babies). Kane and I wanted bubbles, so small gold bubbles made the cut. And then mom went old school and added a fortune telling fish, which we thought were hysterically funny when mom made up fortunes for us (e.g., "you will cooperate through dinnertime"). All of those went into a cute canvas bag (thanks Kane for putting them all together!) and we tied on a "thank you for swimming by" tag colored by me (and Kane).

Thanks again to all our friends and family who helped make this a truly awesome splashy bash! Now go visit mom's Etsy store so we can support our party hard habits! 


Cath said...

So cute! I love the little details -- the tail-stamped spoon and the glitter envelope lining.

Happy birthday! Tell Cam she has to come visit us in Norfolk...the mermaid is the unofficial emblem of the city and we have glittery and painted mermaid statues all over town. :)

Kane and Cameron said...

Thanks! I actually do want to get down your way and I'd say a mermaid party for A is in order!